Wednesday, June 14, 2017
NBC Is Off Its Rocker To Air Alex Jones' Interview After Capitol Shooting
Conpiracy clown Alex Jones, who feeds the Right's febrile conspiracies - including Sandy Hook being a false flag- to appear Sunday night on Megyn Kelly's show.
Incredibly, NBC News is moving ahead with plans to air Megyn Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones this weekend despite a backlash that has cost the show advertisers and led to Kelly being dropped as host for an event by an organization founded by parents of children killed at Sandy Hook elementary school. And this is also after the shooting of House GOP Whip Steven Scalise and three others this morning during a GOP House batting practice in Alexandra, VA at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the shooting this morning was specifically directed at the Republican House members getting ready for a congressional baseball game. Reports out of ABC News this morning note the perp didn't come in and just mow people down indiscriminately with his AR-15, he asked where the REPUBLICAN players were, which they were. In other words, this was a political hit job in a highly polarized national atmosphere we've not seen since the Civil War.
And into this atmosphere you are really going to throw gasoline on the fire by airing a Megyn Kelly interview with conspiracy screwball Alex Jones? Seriously? Yes, yes, I know all about the "free speech" thing and at any other time I'd say let Alex have his say. But not now in an overheated environment where from reports in a recent issue of TIME - both Left and Right are amping up their aggression with the Alt-Right now squaring off against black clad Antifa (anti fascist) brigades, including here in Colorado Springs. E.g.
Anti -fascists square off against cops before the Milo Yiannapoulis appearance at UCCS in January.
Meanwhile, NBC has been taken aback by the response to booking Jones, the Infowars host who has questioned the factual reality of the killing of 26 people in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, CT. He has insisted it's a hoax, a "false flag", staged by the Obama administration as an excuse to seize guns. The students shot and killed, in Jones insane view, were merely actors - who are still alive and well somewhere. He refuses to say where, though he evidently knows where the Roswell aliens are ensconced.
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, who had earlier mulled firing Lawrence O'Donnell - one of the most popular liberal voices on MSNBC - said the story would be edited with the sensitivity of its critics in mind. But if NBC is going to really give Jones his 0.02 it is hard to imagine how such editing might be done. Virtually every word out of Alex Jones' mouth is inflammatory and polarizing. For example, on Oct. 25th Jones spewed on about a crypto Jewish conspiracy afoot in the country:
“I mean it’s not that Jews are bad; it’s just they are the head of the Jewish Mafia in the United States. They run Uber. They run the health care. They’re going to scam you. They’re going to hurt you.”
NO hard data, or cited documents for that claim, or even a tempered speculation. Jones simply emitted a noisome brain fart from a ruptured psychotic embolism in his amygdala. Given he does this every ten microseconds, how will NBC "edit" his stream of bullshit brain modality? Well, I guess NBC could shut off the audio during Jones' responses and just let the lips move soundlessly.
“It’s important to get it right,” Lack said. To which I'd respond, "It's impossible to get it right when you put a crackpot on the air". And especially in an overheated political atmosphere now made worse by what had obviously been a partisan-motivated mass shooting.
Kelly had the nerve to argue last Tuesday that reporters have interviewed controversial characters such as Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and child molesters in the past without getting this kind of a reaction. But she misses the key point most everyone knew and accepted those were bad guys. In Jones' case, his febrile follies have been the fodder and launch point for much of the fake news, including 'Pizzagate', spouted with cooperation with the Russkies' own spurious crap. Indeed, Jones' crappola has been one of the main media diets of Donald Trump, likely fueling his own halfwit conspiracy musings - including Ted Cruz' dad being one of the Kennedy assassins.
Note here that popularity of a stone screwball does not qualify as a justification to give his screwball ideas major network hearing. (I have no problems if it is done via an online interview, but not a prime time airing on a major network). Thus Kelly's next blather:
“What I think we’re doing is journalism. The bottom line is that while it’s not always popular, it’s important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He’s been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don’t get the choice over who has power or influence in our country.”
Which is a too cute, too pat and too egregious explanation by far. Especially given that Jones' popularity has not been on account of the attention of rational, sober citizens, but of unread, semi-educated screwballs like Jones. Oh, and liars and fake news buffoons like Donald Trump. Hence, Kelly - and Lack - are cherry picking what they regard as "journalism", in this case defining it down to the level of the fake news dumpster. In other words, if you give a fake news purveyor major air time then you become a fake news purveyor too. If you want to delude yourselves this is "journalism", fine, but don't take the rest of us for stock idiots.
Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun violence group, said it had asked Kelly to step down as host of its Wednesday-night gala in Washington. The group said it cannot support Kelly or NBC’s decision to give a platform to Jones and hopes NBC reconsiders its plan to broadcast the interview, said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director. Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, was killed at Sandy Hook, founded the organization with Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son, Daniel.
To some critics, NBC’s timing makes the decision worse – airing on Father’s Day an interview that has been publicly denounced by parents who lost young children at Sandy Hook. But now with the politically motivated shooting this morning that decision is rendered even worse by orders of magnitude. NBC said it was scheduled "for competitive reasons", because Jones had been booked to appear on ABC’s daytime show The View next week. (A representative of The View said Jones had canceled his appearance there and he would not be rescheduled.)
Lack noted that he had suggested approaching Jones for an interview to David Corvo, the NBC News executive who supervises the network’s newsmagazines. He said there’s nothing new about putting people on the air even if they’re unpopular or have views that are deplorable to many, adding:
“I’ve got tremendous understanding of why they’re so upset, as they have every right to be,”
Ahhh, but he has more appreciation and "understanding" - by far- of the ratings hike he hopes to snare by putting an obnoxious, pseudo-conspiracy gasbag like Jones on the air. The best thing sober people can do is tune it out, or watch 'Fear the Walking Dead'.
Meanwhile, Trump lackey Jeff Sessions performed yesterday as most of us expected, i.e. like the Trump patsies Mike Rogers and Dan Coates did last week. See, e.g.
"In the flap over Kelly’s upcoming interview with Jones, one fact critics keep missing, or willfully ignoring, is that Kelly and Jones are two sides of the same coin. Sure, Jones arguably says more outlandish things from a position that used to be the far lunatic fringe. But Kelly spent more than a decade doing her own version of the right-wing’s dirty work from within the establishment at Fox News. The difference between Kelly and Jones, at the end of the day, amounts to nothing more than aesthetics. Together, their steady output of garbage has helped expand and thicken our current toxic atmosphere, which is now engulfing and threatening to choke us."